Dominic Thiem shocked Majorcan ace Rafa Nadal in their round-robin match in the ATP Finals, 7-6(7), 7-6(4) last night.
Nadal was hoping to make it two wins out of two as he continued his campaign for a title he has never yet won - but in a tremendous contest, Thiem proved the more precise.
“I think it was a great match from the first to the last point,” said Thiem afterwards.
“I was lucky to get the first set...against Rafa it’s nice to win the first set, but he’s there until the last point.
“I had to stay super-focused.”
He took an enthralling first set to a tie-break - in which Nadal did have set point. The Austrian’s backhand down the line presented plenty of problems throughout - and he raced through the second set to grab three set points at 5-4.
But Nadal’s tenacity meant he saved all three and went on to take the game, winning five straight points with a combination of a tweener and excellent lobbing.
And although the world number two started the second-set tie-break in strong style, Thiem hit back, using the width of the court to leave Nadal stranded, and eventua